Cardboard Hydra

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THIS SCULPTURE IS THE WORK OF EIGHT YOUNG PEOPLE AT
BLUEBIRD HOUSE, IT TOOK APPROXIMATELY 10 WEEKS TO COMPLETE – IT REPRESENTS THE MONSTER THAT IS MENTAL HEALTH.

EACH HEAD IS REPRESENTING THE WAY THAT YOUNG PERSON FEELS ABOUT THERE OWN MENTAL HEALTH.

Blue and pink FACE:

My name is xxxx and I am emotionally unstable. My face represents happy, sad, fear and anger. There are some of the feelings I often have AND CAN NOT CONTROL.

Serpent:

Serpent represents the temptation to do things one should not do. I feel this is an appropriate effigy of mental health problems that cause people to do things that they might not want to do.

Red and green FACE:

My head is called nameless. It is showing two extremes of emotion- happy and angry, like a split personality, like not knowing why it really is and feels. This is how I feel about my mental health. It makes me feel like I am when medicated and makes me feel what it’s like to be locked up when you don’t know who you truly are.

Black dog:

My head is the big black dog of “frustration with the world.” It’s how I feel sometimes when things get me down.

Dragon:

My head is based on a dragon from A Studio Ghibli film as this represents a dragon flying me away from my mental health problems, and taking me to my escape which is fantasy.

THE Eye:

THIS EYE HEAD IS HOW I FEEL IN SECURE SERVICES – WATCHED ALL THE TIME. I KNOW I NEED WATCHING BUT I DON’T LIKE IT.

Skull:

My skull head represents feeling dead inside and having no hope,

Feeling like you have no emotions and also the feeling of not feeling real.

The claws represent hearing voices and the idea of it being a creepy crawly. Also I did the claws because it’s like the devil (evil) crying to escape your body and take over you.

Step 1: The Skeleton / Frame

Because the sculpture is quite large we decided to build a wooden frame, the necks are removable and numbered so that they go back in the right order.

We just used 10mm shuttering ply and some soft wood batten, cut, screwed and PVA glued into the rough shape.

Step 2: Constructing the Cardboard Shape

Using old cardboard and our favorite tool the hot glue gun we made tubes around the wooden necks then filled them with expanding foam to give the structures rigidity. Cheap building stuff worked really well but is messy and will wreck clothes and pretty much anything you don't want it on!

Step 3: Constructing the Features

Again using the Glue Gun manipulate the cardboard and glue it to the frame.

The scales were cut in large batches and glued over the whole body.

Step 4: The Heads

1. Rip/ tear/ cut into shape and glue in place.

2. Add detail.

3. Paint.

Step 5: Painting

We painted the Hydra with acrylic paint - and it took ages.

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    5 Discussions

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    seamster

    2 months ago

    Great project, and I appreciate the therapeutic aspect behind it. Please make sure the kids know: this is some great creative talent on display!

    Well done! : )

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    Matlek

    2 months ago

    Wow, you guys made an amazing work! And I really like the description of the heads by the artists. Could you add more images of each head so we can see them with more details?

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    LeslieGeee

    2 months ago

    GREAT JOB GUYS!!!! Thank you so much for sharing your story and creation process. This came out wonderfully. Ever think of getting into the prop business?

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    Gareth035

    3 months ago

    This is one of the coolest creations for looks and the behind story